“There aren’t many people like him in international politics. He does what he says and says what he does,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said of Tayyip Recep Erdoğan, adding that “he is friends with the Turkish president.”
Rama does not hide his admiration and his “chemistry” with Erdoğan, whether or not this close relationship refers to the time of the former Ottoman Empire, with the Albanian Prime Minister in the role of … local Pasha and Erdoğan as a powerful …Sultan.
For the Turkish president and his neo-Ottoman aspirations in the Balkans and the wider region, Albania is a favorite and convenient place for his personal diplomacy, although Albanian voices publicly criticize Ankara’s adherence to Tirana.
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In recent years, Turkey has systematically used its economy, religion, culture, charity and humanitarian aid to expand its influence in other countries, including Albania.
Turkish investments in Albanian are estimated at around $3.5 billion, with over 600 Turkish companies operating in the country.
During Erdoğan’s visit to Tirana yesterday, there was no shortage of public compliments and “charm” between the two men, who each used the meeting for communication purposes and to strengthen their electoral following.
In total, Erdoğan and Rama signed seven agreements, commercial, educational and military, with the aim of further strengthening bilateral relations.
In statements, the Turkish president stressed that relations with Albania are at the level of a “strategic partnership”, stressing that the two countries aim to achieve an annual exchange of 1 billion dollars.
Turkey’s president has urged Albania to exterminate members and supporters of FETO, the network of exiled Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen, which Ankara has called a ‘terrorist organization’, accusing it of failing the coup of State of 2016.
“The fact that FETÖ members are taking refuge in friendly and fraternal Albania deeply hurts our people.
“We hope that you will take more concrete action against FETÖ’s presence in Albania,” Erdoğan said publicly, asking Rama to “pass overboard” Gülenists who took refuge in Albania.
The Turkish government is pushing for schools to be closed.
The Albanian government has in the past been accused of “kidnapping” and “deporting” to Turkey “anti-government” asylum seekers who had fled to Albania as members of the FETÖ network.
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Erdoğan inaugurated the renovated Et’hem Bej Mosque in the center of Tirana.
“Brother stands by brother when he needs it, not when he asks for it,” Erdoğan said, with Rama publicly praising the Turkish president, calling him a “valuable friend” not only of Albanians but of himself. same.
Albania’s prime minister has awarded Erdoğan the title of “honorary citizen” of the country, while a central square in Tirana will now bear the Turkish leader’s name.
It should be noted, however, that at the same time that Rama and Erdoğan were exchanging public compliments, in the city of Lezhë, Albanian President Ilir Meta paid homage to the monument to Georgios Kastriotis, or more commonly known as Skanderbeg
Kastriotis resisted the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans for years and is a national hero for Albania.
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